A dedicated server is a single physical computer engineered to support multiple users, run a large number of different services and applications, and manage, store, send and process data 24-hours a day. A dedicated server allows for all the resources of the physical computer to be "dedicated" to one client and the hardware resources are not shared with any other clients. This is in contrast to shared servers and cloud servers where the resources of the physical computer system are shared amongst many clients.
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Support for any of these operating systems typically depends on the level of management offered with a particular dedicated server plan. Operating system support may include updates to the core system in order to acquire the latest security fixes, patches, and system-wide vulnerability resolutions. Updates to core operating systems include kernel upgrades, service packs, application updates, and security patches that keep the server secure and safe. Operating system updates and support relieves the burden of server management from the dedicated server owner.
To date, no industry standards have been set to clearly define the management role of dedicated server providers. What this means is that each provider will use industry standard terms, but each provider will define them differently. For some dedicated server providers, fully managed is defined as having a web based control panel while other providers define it as having dedicated system engineers readily available to handle all server and network related functions of the dedicated server provider.